Recent Gallup Poll Is a Snapshot of the Moral and Cultural Revolution

082514The results of a recent Gallup poll on a range of moral issues do a pretty good job of showing how dramatically America has changed in a rather short period of time. Many behaviors now deemed “largely acceptable” were once considered very wrong. In fact, most of us over fifty remember an America that was very different.

Until the mid-1960s, birth control was unapproved—even illegal to sell in many jurisdictions. It was associated with prostitution.

Divorce was something that people whispered about. And until 1969 it was so difficult to get a divorce that the few who did want them were willing to go to Mexico to in order to obtain them.

As for gambling, Catholics were less adamant about it and permitted “light” forms of gambling like bingo. But among the Protestants, “gambling” was synonymous with sin. Some of the old spirituals warned gamblers of the fires of Hell: “I would not be a gambler. I’ll tell you the reason why. I’m afraid my Lord might call my name and I wouldn’t be ready to die.”

Having a baby outside of marriage was considered so shameful that girls who got pregnant were often sent away to have the baby, which was then usually put up for adoption. Frankly, the final result was often better for the infant, who was usually adopted quickly by a married couple. Catholic orders of nuns were often the ones who handled these matters, and did so discreetly and lovingly.

Sex before marriage happened, but far less frequently—and almost no one thought it was OK. In those days there were also many protections that society insisted upon to help prevent sex before marriage. For example, young people were often chaperoned on dates. Dances and other group events were commonly arranged by adults in order to encourage young people to meet, but there were prudent limits set. Parents were more vigilant and insisted that their youngsters be home at a reasonable hour. Women’s dormitories at colleges were more strictly guarded and a young man who called was expected to meet his young lady in the lobby and say farewell to her there. Young people also got married a lot sooner. Most did so right after high school or college.

Homosexual activity of any sort was not just considered shocking; it was deemed repulsive.

Abortion was illegal—an unmentionable horror. It was associated with prostitution and utter desperation. Frankly, I don’t think I ever heard the word abortion before 1970, though I admit I was only about ten at that time.

Only the death penalty and wearing fur were more acceptable in the pre-revolution days than they are today.

Behold the cultural revolution! And revolution is the only word for it. America before the revolution was NOT a perfect culture. Racism was more widespread; there were two major wars before 1950, and there was a rather decadent period in the 1920s. But overall, we were a lot clearer about the values necessary to ensure our future: marriage, sex, and children. People got married and usually stayed married. We frowned upon, limited, and punished  behaviors and attitudes that destroyed our families: sex before marriage, homosexual acts, abortion, and divorce. Today most of these behaviors are not only widely tolerated, but outright celebrated.

Why has this happened and why so suddenly? The world, the flesh, and the devil.

At the level of the demonic, there surely is strong satanic influence in the “high places” of Hollywood, the music industry, Madison Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue (at both ends of the block). American culture, via movies and music, generates a steady stream of sewer-like themes that celebrate fornication, divorce, adultery, and homosexuality, and that portray abortion sympathetically.

At the level of the flesh, Americans consume filth in enormous quantities. Internet porn sites are among the most frequently visited. Most Americans are no longer shocked by foul language, pornographic themes, or nudity in movies and music. Granted, the desire to consume this material comes from weakness due to our sinful human nature, but indulging these weaknesses leads to successively darker places, to a dulling of the sense of morality,  to enslavement by the senses, and ultimately to a downright craving for the filth.

At the level of the world there is the rebellion that is at its heart. The “world,” in the scriptural sense of the term, refers to that collection of interests and powers arrayed against God and His Kingdom. To build its power, the world entices in order to enslave; it offers pleasures but then sends the bill. The world works quite handily with Satan.

At the end of the day, however, we in the Church bear a lot of the responsibility. This has happened on our watch. Jesus commissioned us to be the light of the world. So why is the world in such darkness? I have little doubt that the Lord has allowed a kind of satanic incursion for His own mysterious reasons. Perhaps the Church needs to be purified. Perhaps the West needs to be plowed under, as many previous eras and empires have been. Perhaps He is preparing a great renewal. I just don’t know.

But I do know that we must work more consciously to be the light we are supposed to be. This poll is a gauge of the extent of the darkness. Usually the lights go out as a result of a power failure. But in this case it is a moral failure. It is a failure of our mission as Christians that has led us here. Start with your own life and with your own family. Work in your own parish. Start lighting candles and living in the light.

10 Replies to “Recent Gallup Poll Is a Snapshot of the Moral and Cultural Revolution”

  1. Interesting that abortion is listed in the “contentious” category, at 42%, whereas medical testing on animals is “largely acceptable” at 57% – both items being 7% away from 50%. It makes me wonder if they don’t want to list abortion as “largely unacceptable” or medical testing on animals as “contentious.”

  2. It is worthy that all these things must come to pass that man in the depths of darkness may come to know the Mercy of GOD. We have become so morally decrepit that we cannot anymore distinguish right from wrong. We do not accept absolute morality anymore which our consciences dictate to us and accepted just about any worldly ideas that are injected by the chattering (media) and intellectual (academe) classes. LORD, will many be saved? I believe in HIS Mercy but I believe also in HIS Justice. LORD, do not turn away YOUR Face from us and look kindly upon YOUR Creation and renew the face of the earth. YHWH MEKADDISHKEM! YHWH TSIDKENU!

  3. The West has turned it’s back on God. We have declared our “independence” from God’s moral law and worship ourselves in His place. This is idolatry on steriods.

    Looking at the big picture, it is also clear to me that Godless secularism cannot defeat the cancerous scourge of Islam. We are so proud of our “culture” but what is this “culture” we are trying to export? Godlessness, crass materialism, hyper-sexuality, and self-indulgence? It is loathesome to most of the world. They call us the Great Satan. In some ways, they are right.

  4. On a mid-1980s trip to Europe, I went to a movie theatre. Among the ads rolling across the screen before the film started were several for cigarettes. Before then, I had never seen anything other than a print ad for cigarettes. [I believe tobacco advertising was limited to print ads sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s.]

    I don’t often watch old movies (1960s or earlier) but when I do I am astounded at the frequency smoking is depicted compared to the movies made within the past two decades. As we’ve learned more about the risks associated with smoking, smoking has become far less of a socially acceptable behavior than it was a generation ago. Many jurisdictions wholly ban smoking in public facilities and restrict smoking in other venues as well. In fact those who smoke often endure looks of scorn and/or pity from others for engaging in an activity that while admittedly unhealthy, is completely legal.

    How curious it is that during the same period smoking has gone from being a social norm to being socially unacceptable, behaviors that were socially unacceptable have become social norms. How odd that movies without a cigarette onscreen would depict graphic sex and violence.

    Our society is down on smoking because of its clearly-demonstrated negative impact. Some of that impact is arguable (such as the degree to which secondhand smoke affects nonsmokers) but that there IS a negative impact is indisputable…lung cancer, asthma and other chronic respiratory illnesses, property damage from fires caused by unattended or improperly-disposed smoking materials…the list goes on.

    The impact of the Cultural Revolution is not as clearly quantified as that of smoking; and with the exception of abortion there are no stark images to llustrate the impact of immoral behavior as the black rigid tissue of smokers’ lungs illustrate the impact of smoking on one’s health. I would like to think that at some point the truth will become evident, but unfortunately research on certain social behaviors is seen as Politically Incorrect and thus unlikely to be funded.

    God help us all.

  5. Thank you for this candid and deeply disturbing commentary Monsignor, but I’m afraid it’s worse than you think. The BBC recently broadcast the following report on the rapidly “progressing” industry of human-animal hybrids.

    Listening to the Johns Hopkins Bio-ethicist defend this abomination is as sickening and as it is chilling.

    May God have mercy on us!

  6. Hybrid Embryos?

    It is going down….we are getting closer and closer to this verse:

    “And it was given him to give life to the image of the beast, and the image of the beast should speak….” – Revelation 13:15

  7. And it begins with the Birth Control which enables the disconnection of the whole human race.

    The Satanic gift of Birth Control:

    1) Sex is disconnected from love (Birth Control enables adultery).
    2) Sex is disconnected from commitment (Birth Control enables fornication – don’t need to get marry to have sex).
    3) Sex is disconnected from child rearing & responsibility (What offsprings?).

    The fruit of Birth Control:

    1) Contraception and Condom (can break and fall off) do not protect very well against Herpes, and other diseases (AND LIBERALS REALLY NEED TO GET AN EDUCATION – because there is no cure for Herpes), so go ahead and throw your money away to the pharmaceutical companies FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

    2) The killing of the child in the womb (if the birth control fail – abortion is another form of birth control).

    Thank you Margaret Sanger for your Satanic gift!

    1. Also, I like to add:

      Contraception is a grave sin for it DISMANTLES THE MECHANISM that joins the body and soul composite together. The man or woman who uses CONTRACEPTION DESECREATES GOD’S FERTILITY SYSTEM. Since the body and soul composite is the temple of the living God, dismantling the mechanism (through contraception) that creates the temple of God is an abomination to God. Contraception attacks the dual purpose of sex created by GOD: a) the bond of love between husband and wife b) procreation. Thus, contraception attacks God.

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